The parents of the late Zoey Zint turned their pain into positivity to make a change in kids’ lives.
David and DeLee Zint spoke out against bullying after it contributed to the death of their 14-year-old daughter Zoey earlier this month.
“Spread Love, Not Hate.”
The Zints have adopted that slogan as they work to boost kids’ awareness of the potentially life-ending consequences of their words and actions.
Zoey’s father, David Zint, said he wants to see kids stop the hate and stop the hurt in schools and online.
David said he and his wife are using Zoey’s platform to reach kids and teens with hashtags like #zoeysstory and #chooseyourwordskindly.
The Zints also warned kids about the risks of social media, and the importance of protecting cellphones and other devices, in addition to keeping account passwords private to prevent cyberbullying.
“Kindness and love is just as contagious as hate and bullying,” Zoey’s mother, DeLee said, “and it can save a life just as easily as it can take one.”
They said from this tragedy, Zoey’s story has already begun saving lives.
“A girl we don’t even know, a 14-year-old who was contemplating suicide saw Zoey’s story and went and talked to her dad, and got help through that,” DeLee said. “So, this is bigger than us. This is bigger than Amarillo. This is bigger than all of us together. We just want to see something positive come out of it.”
The Zints said their faith in God has sustained them during this difficult time, as well as the outpouring of support from the community, their friends and family.
The people of the Panhandle came together to shower the Zints with love and compassion on Saturday.
The Elks Lodge in Amarillo was filled with more than 400 people as they gathered to raise donations for Zoey’s memorial fund.
Zoey’s aunt, Adrea Pearson, says they sold 292 “Stop the Hate” t-shirts and raised $4,400 from their live auction alone.